Annual performance reviews are a necessary evil, but I believe coaching should happen always, and in real-time. Feedback is a gift, and we should be generous with our subordinates and our peers in doling out that gift. The annual review should yield no surprises, but rather document what we’ve already discussed, weekly, over the past twelve months.
At HP we have a yearly cycle which I think it’s too far apart so I have 4 lighter quarterly performance reviews based on the objectives we agreed the former quarter. These are a combination of business and personal development, and also with a focus on the short term but in the context of the long term BIG objectives we agree yearly. This increased frequency forces us to spend more time but I think at the end it’s appreciated and helps to elevate both performance and engagement.
Performance management is not a one time dialogue. It’s a real-time, each and every day part of being an effective leader.
Performance reviews are an important part of development and goal alignment. I prefer to meet regularly with my team to discuss goals and milestones, as opposed to a six month or annual performance review. If done consistently, employees should have a good sense of their performance as viewed by the organization/their manager and the annual review becomes redundant. There are several benefits to this approach, but real-time course correction and frequent opportunities for coaching are at the top of the list for me.
The old fashioned way of doing once a year appraisals and performance review is archaic and not conducive to better performance at all.
Open, honest, real-time feedback is key to building relationships and managing performance. I personally prefer live action coaching, supplemented by quarterly reviews to look back at what’s been achieved and set the course (and adjust it if necessary) for the next quarter. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss development and support needs more in-depth.
For me, the critical part is the real-time feedback.
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